Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Thanksgiving Reflection

A dear friend of mine suggested we include a reference point pertaining to our name "Be Not Afraid"... since almost every Catholic knows that this was the motto of Karol Wojtyla when he took the name John Paul II.

So here I include some excerpts from our new Pastor's sermons.

But before you read it, I would like to draw your attention to the latter part of the paragraph... and so I have taken liberty to bold font this since it strikes me as so personally true.

A link to the original text is found in the title, which will take you to the entire sermon.

I conclude that without Christ, we have MUCH to be afraid of. WITH Him we have nothing to be afraid of AND EVERYTHING to be Thankful for. Enjoy!


St. Peter's Square Sunday, 24 April 2005

At this point, my mind goes back to 22 October 1978, when Pope John Paul II began his ministry here in Saint Peter’s Square. His words on that occasion constantly echo in my ears: “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!” The Pope was addressing the mighty, the powerful of this world, who feared that Christ might take away something of their power if they were to let him in, if they were to allow the faith to be free. Yes, he would certainly have taken something away from them: the dominion of corruption, the manipulation of law and the freedom to do as they pleased. But he would not have taken away anything that pertains to human freedom or dignity, or to the building of a just society. The Pope was also speaking to everyone, especially the young. Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.

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